The City of Ashton is scheduling a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 7 PM in the Community Center gym to begin the process of amending the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Anyone who considers Ashton his or her home is invited to this town hall.
This city’s first comprehensive plan was written in 1997 with a major update in 2008. This year, Planning & Zoning Administrator Sara Bowersox plans to discuss that 2008 version with the residents of the community to determine where it should be revised to reflect changes to the area over the last 10+ years. A PDF file of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan can be found on the city’s website: https://cityofashton.com/city-departments/pnz.
Idaho state law provides that each city will have a comprehensive plan that establishes the policies that govern local land use planning. Ashton City Council, staff and local residents have observed that economic conditions have evolved in recent years. Some of Ashton’s municipal code regarding zoning and appropriate uses within those zones need to be refreshed. The Comprehensive Plan must be amended before any zoning ordinances can be amended.
According to the document Smart Towns: A Guide to Growth Management for Idaho City and County Officials put out by the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor and the Association of Idaho Cities, the comprehensive plan is the basic document used to guide the growth and development of a city. An emphasis on citizen involvement and a study of the social, economic and environmental characteristics of the city results in a document that represents the community’s consensus about where residential, commercial and industrial growth should occur and how the quality of life can be enhanced for all residents.
The January town hall will be the first step in gathering this community input. Together with the Planning & Zoning Commissioners, Administrator Bowersox will conduct interviews and surveys with residents, business owners and City Council members. She will also study readily available statistics and demographics. A second town hall will be planned later in the process. Before a new comprehensive plan and associated zoning ordinances can be approved and implemented, the proposed changes will be discussed in public hearings. The residents will be notified following the proscribed process prior to the hearings.